OK, seasoned iPad veterans look away – this is another iPad Basics tip, for those who are newer to iPad and iOS.
I was recently asked by a reader how he could archive apps that are not used regularly on his iPad. As in, he wanted to be able to delete some rarely used apps on the iPad itself in order to save storage space and clutter on home screens, without losing those apps forever.
And happily the answer is that iTunes has us well covered in this area.
iTunes does the ‘archiving’ for us. You can happily delete apps from the iPad itself but the record of your purchase remains on iTunes so at any point that you want to reinstall them it recognizes that you have already purchased them. They also remain in iTunes on the PC as long as you don’t delete them there.
One important thing to be aware of when deleting an app that does not sync its data with a desktop or online partner, is that its data will also be deleted. The same goes for games. This is a good reason to look for apps that have a good sync setup.
In iOS 4.3.5 and iOS 5, which should be released in the next few weeks, there is a new Purchased tab in the App Store on the iPad, which makes all of this even easier. There’s even a section for ‘Not on this iPad’ that shows you only apps you have purchased but do not currently have installed. And of course it’s just a single tap to reinstall any of them from there.